Uniqball UBH 35 & 45
Solid heads that keep horizons level when panning to follow movement
£250, $420/ £392, $660
These clever two-in-one Arca Swiss-compatible ball heads enable you to level your camera and lock it in one plane while still allowing the lens to be tilted up or down or panned. This enables you to follow a moving subject without the horizon becoming unlevel.
Both heads are machined from aerospace industry aluminium alloy to 1/100mm tolerance and the tension can be adjusted via a knob. The UBH 45 weighs just 700 grams and is designed to support a heavyweight optic like an 800mm f/5.6 on a pro-level SLR while allowing smooth panning and tilting, although of course it can also be used with smaller cameras and wide-angle lenses. Meanwhile the smaller, 500-gram, UBH 35 weighs half can cope with standard optics like a 70-200mm f/2.8 or 100400mm f/5.6.
On the level
Getting the levelling part of the heads level at the outset takes a bit of practice, but you will get the hang of it. It’s great to know that once it’s done you can tip and pin the camera without worrying about the horizon tilting. Fitting an L-plate to your SLR before attaching it to a UBH head also gives you the same degree of control when shooting upright images.